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Word Count: 2,073
Summary The curtain rises on Algernons upper-crust apartment in Londons prestigious West End We hear Algernon playing the piano in another room while Lane the butler arranges afternoon tea on the table algernon enters shortly and begins a discussion with lane we learn that lady bracknell algernons aunt will be arriving soon for visit her daughter gwendolen after brief witty dialogue marriage lane is dismissed only to reenter announce arrival of ernest worthing algys friend says he has just returned from shropshire location his country estate where was entertaining neighbors Algy announces that Lady Bracknell and Gwendolen will be arriving presently Ernest is excited for their arrival because he plans to propose marriage to Gwendolen Algernon tells Ernest that he thinks Ernest will never marry Gwendolen because girls never marry the men with whom they flirt and because he Algy will not give his consent as Gwendolens first cousin until Ernest explains to him who Cecily is Algy produces a cigarette case Ernest left in the flat on his last visit Inside the case is inscribed From little Cecily with her fondest love to her dear Uncle Jack Ernest explains falsely that Cecily is his aunt but Algy does not believe him Ernest tells Algy also that he goes by the name Ernest when he is in the city and Jack when in the country Algy is pleased to know this and calls Ernest a Bunburyist a term he uses to describe one who has a fictional friend or relative in the country giving one an excuse to leave the city whenever one feels the need Algy himself explains that he has made up a friend named Bunbury who is always becoming sick thus giving Algy an excuse to get away to visit him Ernest comes clean telling Algy that Cecily is actually his ward although Ernest will not tell Algy where she lives Commentary The first few lines of dialogue show
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